Reforming Modernity: Ethics and the New Human in the Philosophy of Abdurrahman Taha (Hardback)Wael Hallaq (author)
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Hallaq argues that Taha's project departs from-but leaves behind-the epistemological grounds in which most modern Muslim intellectuals have anchored their programs. Taha systematically rejects the modes of thought that have dominated the Muslim intellectual scene since the beginning of the twentieth century-nationalism, Marxism, secularism, political Islamism, and liberalism. Instead, he provides alternative ways of thinking, forcefully and virtuosically developing an ethical system with a view toward reforming existing modernities. Hallaq analyzes the ethical thread that runs throughout Taha's oeuvre, illuminating how Taha weaves it into a discursive engagement with the central questions that plague modernity in both the West and the Muslim world. The first introduction to Taha's ethical philosophy for Western audiences, Reforming Modernity presents his complex thought in an accessible way while engaging with it critically. Hallaq's conversation with Taha's work both proffers a cogent critique of modernity and points toward answers for its endemic and seemingly insoluble problems.
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Number of pages: 376
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
The English-speaking world needs to discover the work of Abdurrahman Taha, one of the most important Muslim philosophers of our postcolonial time. Wael B. Hallaq proves himself as a profound, rigorous reader and interlocutor in Reforming Modernity, which brilliantly manifests the Moroccan thinker's oeuvre. -- Souleymane Bachir Diagne, author of Open to Reason: Muslim Philosophers in Conversation with the Western Tradition
This is a fascinating book. Abdurrahman Taha is one of the Arab world's best grounded and most daring thinkers, and Wael B. Hallaq's book gives a comprehensive overview of his thought. Taha knows his Kant as well as his Ghazali, and his critique of modernity-both Western and Arab-is pitiless. He goes on to propose an Islamic modernity, Qur'anic and ethical. Since Hallaq provides interpretation as well as exposition, this book is also part of Hallaq's own ongoing (and equally fascinating) project of critique and reconstruction. -- Mark Sedgwick, author of Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century
In Reforming Modernity, Wael B. Hallaq proves to be an ideal guide through the dense logic and complex language of Abdurrahman Taha, perhaps the most original Muslim philosopher of ethics and modernity unknown in the English-speaking world. Taha posits nothing less than the self-sufficiency of Islamic moral philosophy, yet his is a project at once critical of and open to other philosophies rather than mired in the futile pursuit of an Islam purged of "foreign influence." A critical and sympathetic reader, Hallaq scrutinizes the content of these arguments, the way they are made, and how they unfold. The effect is not only to make Taha's thought accessible, but also to invite readers to dwell within its texture and richness. Few scholars aside from Hallaq have the depth and breadth of knowledge to accomplish such a feat; we are indebted to him. -- Roxanne L. Euben, University of Pennsylvania
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